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In the constellation of Eridanus there lurks a cosmic mystery: It’s as if something has taken a huge bite out of the universe. But what is the culprit? The hole in the universe is just one of many puzzles keeping cosmologists busy. Supermassive black holes, bubbles of nothingness gobbling up space, monster universes swallowing others—these and many other bizarre ideas are being pursued by cosmologists. Due to breath-taking progress in astronomy, scientists now understand the history of our universe better than we understand the history of our own planet. But these advances have uncovered some startling riddles. In this electrifying new book, renowned cosmologist and author Paul Davies lucidly explains what we know about the cosmos and its enigmas, exploring the tantalizing—and sometimes terrifying—possibilities that lie before us.
As Davies guides us through the audacious research offering mind-bending solutions to these and other mysteries, he leads us up to the greatest outstanding conundrum of all: why does the universe even exist in the first place? And how did a system of mindless, purposeless particles manage to bring forth conscious, thinking beings? Filled with wit and wonder, What’s Eating the Universe? is a dazzling tour of cosmic questions, sure to entertain, enchant, and inspire us all.
: “Brilliant. You won’t find a clearer, more engaging guide to what we know (or would like to know) about the universe and how it is put together.”
Philip Ball, author of Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics Is Different": “A whistle-stop tour of the major questions in contemporary cosmology.”
Priyamvada Natarajan, author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos:
“What’s Eating the Universe? is a veritable feast for curious minds. Davies, a polymath and lyrical writer, masterfully tackles all the big questions ranging from why this Universe to the meaning of life and the significance of the present moment—a whirlwind journey through ideas that have shaped our understanding of the cosmos and its constituents.”
Simon Mitton, University of Cambridge: “Davies has selected a wonderful potpourri of deep questions with incomplete answers. The result is a delightful fresh-smelling account of the cutting edge of modern cosmology. He is truly exceptional at explaining all of this in his inimitable style—let’s say ‘astropoetry.’”
John Gribbin: “What’s Eating the Universe? is Davies at his very best. He brings a lifetime of experience in explaining mysteries of space and time to offer thought-provoking essays on deep questions in bite-sized, easily digestible chunks. There is no better overview of the advances made by cosmologists in recent decades.”
A. C. Grayling: “Davies brings his customary lucidity to a survey of some of the most fascinating and puzzling aspects of our universe, simultaneously educating us about its vertiginous wonders and giving us a real sense of science’s questions as it confronts and explores them and wrestles with their mystery. It is an absorbing and stimulating read, one of the best of its kind.”